HBO World Championship Boxing, 2.4.12

The first televised fight was between “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. I had envisioned this fight as a knockout for Donaire.

Two things I felt would happen; 1) that Donaire would carry his power well into 122 lbs (after moving up from 118 lbs), and 2) that Vazquez would wilt under Donaire’s pressure.

I wasn’t totally wrong on point 1, but point 2 I was clearly wrong on. Vazquez was more than up to the challenge of absorbing some very solid punches from Donaire, even though he clearly went down in round 9, he got back up and continued as if he took nothing more than a good hard shot.

The early rounds were easily won by Nonito. So easily won that I thought the fight would turn into a rout, but the next two rounds Vazquez settled into a good place and began to stick his (surprisingly) effective jab into Donaire’s face.

Those two rounds (5 & 6) were Vazquez’s best rounds and the only rounds he actually won on my card. While he had other good rounds he didn’t do enough to actually pull out the round on my card. Donaire had a solid, yet slightly flawed performance in his first fight at 122 lbs.

After Donaire ripped Fernando Montiel’s soul from his body in February 2011, I was all in on Donaire. I was ready to anoint him the next big star. I was jumping in with both feet.

I now amend my feelings and I’m taking one of those feet back out.

While he won the fight easily in my eyes, he had several “What the hell are you doing?” moments. There where times when he should have pressed and instead decided to clown around, jumping around the ring like a monkey instead of pressing a possibly wilting fighter in Vazquez.

Wilfredo is a tough fighter and showed as much during the fight taking clean hard shots in several rounds, but absorbed nearly all of them and kept fighting. His main problem during the fight was his inability to pull the trigger and engage. When he did engage he looked good, he didn’t throw or land nearly enough to win enough rounds and make the fight close.

For what it’s worth my card ended up at 118-109 for Donaire.

Donaire still can achieve becoming a full-fledged super star in the boxing world, he just needs to settle down in a fight and focus. Focus like he did against Fernando Montiel.

In my opinion I would like to see Donaire up one more weight class. A move to 126 lbs and an early summer fight against a solid fighter there (maybe Daniel Ponce De Leon or Jhonny Gonzalez) before a fall showdown with the ultra fast Yuriorkis Gamboa.

For what it’s worth my card ended up at 118-109 for Donaire.

(As a side note, there was yet another ridiculous scoring card from a judge. This time that judge was Ruben Garcia who scored the fight 115-112 for Vazquez Jr. That card is a travesty and insulting. Something needs to be done about these judges who cannot possibly be scoring the fight in front of them. In no way, shape, or form did Vazquez win this fight. Disgusting. The other two judges appropriately scored the fight 117-110.)

“The Main Event of the Evening!”

The main event featured Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. taking on tough Marco Antonio Rubio in the 160 lbs weight class.

My pre-fight prediction was Rubio by decision, possibly a split. I was wrong.

I had initially thought Rubio was going to be too rugged for Chavez and would plug away until Chavez (he of the DWI two weeks before the fight) wilted. For not wilting I give Chavez credit. I also give him credit for the vicious body punches he throws. For everything he isn’t, he certainly is a fantastic body puncher.

What I cannot give him credit for is routinely weighing in, on the unofficial scale on the day of the fight, at least 10 lbs more than his opponent. His unofficial weight against Rubio was 181 lbs, against Sebastian Zbik it was 185 lbs. He’s weighing in on fight day 5-10 lbs over the light heavyweight limit! It’s not fair to his opponents and if he continues this trend by draining himself to stay at 160 lbs it’s going to be unfair to himself and it will end up getting himself very hurt.

The fight itself was rather ho-hum. There were a few flurries later in the fight, particularly the last two rounds, but other than that it was a slower paced fight as far as neither man moved much at all. Sometimes this can cause an enjoyable slugfest, but this wasn’t one of those times.

The difference in the fight came in the middle rounds (5-8) where Chavez Jr. won each round on my card. He slowed Rubio down with tremendous body shots that were so thunderous you could hear them through the TV as clear as day. Chavez’s work to the body is what won the fight for him.

Rubio made it close than it should have been by taking three of the last four rounds, but his inability to steal any of the middle rounds cost him the fight. He had moments of solid punching, but none of it really hurt Chavez, despite the large amount of swelling over Chavez’s right eye.

For what it’s worth, my card read like this;

Rd 1, 10-9 Rubio
Rd 2, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 3, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 4, 10-9 Rubio
Rd 5, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 6, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 7, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 8, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 9, 10-9 Rubio
Rd 10, 10-9 Chavez
Rd 11, 10-9 Rubio
Rd 12, 10-9 Rubio

115-113 for Chavez Jr.

Judges had it 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113 all for Chavez Jr.

In his post fight comments, Chavez again said he would like to fight Sergio Martinez. There is no way Bob Arum is going to put him in the ring with Martinez. Sergio Martinez is in another class than Chavez and would obliterate him. Just my two cents, but pitting Chavez against Martinez would be foolish.

That being said, lets get that fight signed. I’m tired of hearing about Chavez Jr and his false stardom.

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